The Collection

The October 27 Archive currently contains 176 objects and is regularly being expanded with more material. The archive includes flyers and programs from community gatherings held since the October 27 attack, a comprehensive collection of news coverage about the day of the event, oral history recordings reflecting a diverse array of experiences, and historical documentation about the Jewish experience in Western Pennsylvania.

Using this archive

You can view all the materials currently included in the archive using the browser below. Each object has been described and cataloged to help you discover materials, learn about these materials, understand the context in which these materials were created, and draw connections between different materials. You can refine the browsing experience using various filters, including creator, type, and subject. Some of these filters have already been used to create preset galleries, each organized around specific aspects of the archive. You can also look for specific words and phrase found in the archive using a keyword search.


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Star of David memorial (Joyce Fienberg)

Wooden pedestal painted white with white Star of David and red heart affixed to front. Handwritten in pencil and black marker on the Star of David is the name "Joyce Fienberg." Collaged onto the heart are white pieces of paper and a translation of Psalm 34:18: "The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Accompanying image shows all 11 Stars of David in the series.

Historical Notes

Immediately following the October 27 attack, carpenter Greg Zanis of Naperville, Ill. built 11 freestanding Stars of David in memory of the 11 people who were killed that day. He delivered the Stars of David to the Tree of Life synagogue building the following afternoon and placed them outside the Zittrain Gardens on the Shady Avenue side of the building. The Stars of David quickly became the basis of a large outdoor memorial containing thousands of objects brought by people from all over the world. A second smaller memorial emerged in a private yard near a police barricade erected at Murray and Wilkins avenues. Community volunteers moved the entirety of these two memorials inside the Tree of Life building on November 14, 2018, for preservation purposes. The 11 Stars of David became part of a public display of select objects arranged in the windows of the Hailperin Sanctuary lobby. Rauh Jewish Archives staff and volunteers dismantled this display on February 16, 2023, and the 11 Stars of David were brought to the archive for preservation. Through his organization "Crosses for Losses," Zanis made and delivered more than 26,000 crosses, Stars of David, and crescents to the sites of mass violence and natural disasters between 1999 and his death in 2020.

Use and Reproduction
Donor Information
Tree of Life Congregation, New Light Congregation, Congregation Dor Hadash, Tree of Life Inc., The 10.27 Healing Partnership